We’ve added new scenarios to our Dynamics 365 Higher Education Accelerator, launched this time last year. In addition to the student lifecycle and student analytics components of the Accelerator, we have just announced functionality to support business partner management – which is another core scenario in Australian universities which is currently undergoing rapid expansion!
The Microsoft Higher Education Accelerator now includes use cases around internships, scholarships, grants, and student accomplishments. Schools will now be able to track students who have applied for various positions offered by various business partners and track the status of students’ applications. The Accelerator also includes scenarios around student accomplishments which helps schools, business partners, and potential employers evaluate a student’s achievements outside their curriculum and extracurricular activities.
The Microsoft Higher Education Accelerator also includes a new research grant mobile app to easily view and take action on applications from PhDs and Doctoral candidates.
It’s also got a new student engagement chatbot and portal experience (which you can see below). What universities have been finding is that students are active users of chatbots if they can really help them answer their questions, and it means they avoid tedious queuing for call centres or student service centres.
Chatbots have been reasonably easy to build in the past, as long as you have good source materials – like FAQs – however it has sometimes taken a while to get them integrated into the university website and service centre flows. With the latest version of Dynamics 365, the chatbots are now built within Dynamics 365 itself, leading to much easier integration – and making them more accessible to students more quickly.
Microsoft has been working globally with a number of partners who offer Dynamics 365 Student Lifecycle solutions, and this has included KPMG Australia, who’s expertise has contributed to the development of the Higher Education Accelerator specifications and data schemas. You can find out more about KPMG’s Dynamics 365 student journey solutions for Higher Education here
The Higher Education data model and Accelerator is also free and open sourced and can be found on AppSource and GitHub.